A new study released Monday provides a first look at whether women from certain ethnic communities are practising sex-selective abortion in Ontario — and found “concerning trends” to suggest female feticide is happening.
Researchers caution, however, that the study is inconclusive and far more investigation needs to be done.
The St. Michael’s Hospital study analyzed 766,688 births in Ontario and found mothers born in South Korea and India were “significantly” more likely to have boys for their second child.
When it came to having a third child, the male-to-female ratio grew even more skewed for Indian-born mothers, who had 136 boys for every 100 girls.
By comparison, the ratio for Canadian-born mothers was 105 boys for every 100 girls — regardless of whether it was their first, second or third-born.
“Our findings raise the possibility that couples originating from India may be more likely than Canadian-born couples to use prenatal sex determination and terminate a second or subsequent pregnancy if the fetus is female,” reads the study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
By Karen Seidman, The Gazette January 18, 2012
MONTREAL – Say it isn’t so.
That seemed to be the reaction across the country to a suggestion in an influential Canadian medical journal that enough women here of South-East Asian origin abort unwanted girls that something ought to be done about it.
While doctors across the country questioned the validity of an editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggesting doctors delay revealing a fetus’s sex until 30 weeks to prevent sex-selective abortions, the author defended his position on Tuesday and said the controversial practice is a bigger problem in Canada than people want to admit.
“The numbers may look small but they were big enough to skew some ratios – and it’s not easy to skew ratios,” said Dr. Rajendra Kale, interim editor-in-chief of CMAJ. “I’m not against educational intervention, but the thing that will put the brakes on this is this recommendation.”
SHERYL UBELACKER Toronto— The Canadian Press
Published Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 12:45PM EST
Last updated Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 4:28PM EST
Dr. Rajendra Kale calls it the most severe and repugnant form of discrimination against females — and he wants to see it stopped.
The practice of aborting a female fetus after the parents learn the sex of their developing child through ultrasound is not as widespread in Canada as in such countries as India and China, where a cultural and often religious preference for boys has led to the estimated destruction of millions of females in the womb.